Did you know 47.2% of Americans age 30 and older have periodontal disease, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? While early gum disease (gingivitis) can be reversed with a teeth cleaning from your dentist every 6 months and by adopting a healthy oral hygiene routine, the same can\u2019t be said once it progresses into periodontal disease. Fortunately, our dentists do everything in their power to protect your oral health. Continue reading to learn how you can change your oral health for the better. Preventing Gum Disease 1.) Practice Good Oral Hygiene Gum disease is caused by untreated dental plaque buildup on your teeth and gums. While you\u2019ll still need a dentist teeth cleaning to get rid of tartar (hardened plaque), brushing your teeth at home will remove most plaque. Make sure you also floss once daily to remove plaque hiding between teeth and along the gum line.Gum disease is caused by untreated plaque buildup, so make sure you practice good oral hygiene every day. 2.) Get More Vitamin C Vitamin C deficiency has been found to be one of the leading causes of gum disease. Eating more oranges, strawberries, kiwis, or even Vitamin C supplements can help boost your resistance against gum disease. Vitamin C has healing properties that can stop gums from bleeding and swelling\u2014common gum disease symptoms. 3.) Eat a Balanced Diet Not only is a balanced diet good for your smile, but it can help improve overall health. Be sure to stay away from sugary foods and drinks that can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. A balanced diet filled with vitamins and minerals will boost your immunity and help prevent gum disease. Before putting something in your grocery cart, be sure to check the nutritional information on the package. Many of the foods and drinks we believe to be healthy can contain high levels of sugar like fruit juices and sports drinks. 4.) Stay Hydrated While it may seem weird to think about, saliva is one of our best natural defenses against dental plaque. After you eat a meal, your body produces more saliva to wash away plaque and food particles. To maintain a healthy smile, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day. Also keep in mind that certain drinks (like coffee and alcohol) can dehydrate you. 5.) Schedule Teeth Cleanings During a teeth cleaning, a dental hygienist will be able to remove plaque from teeth. Later on, your dentist will be able to check for the signs of gum disease so you can maintain a healthy smile. While gingivitis is reversible, periodontitis is not. However, if your dentist discovers advanced gum disease, they will be able to do scaling and root planing to help prevent receding gums and other oral health issues. Since patients with periodontitis have deep gum pockets around teeth, your dentist will recommendgum disease treatment. Our dentists at Hudsonville Dental are dedicated to helping patients maintain healthy smiles by offering teeth cleanings and other preventive dentistry services. To schedule your appointment with one of our dentists in Hudsonville MI, call (616) 209-4024.